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February 10, 2023 6 Min Read

Why Your New Year’s Resolution May Be Failing You

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why new years resolutions fail

Welcome to February, one month into 2023 and the first ‘make-it or break-it’ milestone for your big New Year’s resolution. TaskHuman coaches are here for your friendly progress check-in. So… how are you doing? 

If the answer is “not so hot”, don’t worry – you’re not alone. Nor are you to blame. Research shows that a staggering 80% of resolutions have already been broken. 

Just because you fall into this majority, it doesn’t mean you’re off the hook for creating new habits. It means it’s time to reevaluate and hit reset on your goals. And even if you have managed to stay on top of your resolution (go you!), February is a great time to circle back and fine-tune for maximum success. 

In this episode of TaskHuman Talks, Professional Goal-Setting Coach Jeanette Teh shares the top three reasons why New Year’s resolutions fizzle – and more importantly, how to create new goals on your own timeline that are actually achievable. 


So what’s to blame for this failed resolution phenomenon?

For one, it could all come down to timing. The forced timeline of coinciding a big commitment with the start of a new year is completely arbitrary. You may not be ready or in the right headspace on exactly January 1st. If you were still recovering from an exhausting race to the end of 2022, February may be an even better time for change — so let’s go! 

A lack of progression doesn’t mean you don’t have strong willpower, so don’t beat yourself up. 

You probably didn’t pinpoint a meaningful motivator behind your resolution. This month, give yourself plenty of time to connect with a reason that’s driven by emotion. For example, if your goal was to lose weight, ask yourself: “What’s the benefit I’ll receive?” Your doctor may have dictated the need for a healthier lifestyle, but keeping up with your children at the park or completing a hike on an epic holiday with your friends is more motivating. 

Lastly, your resolution could have been too vague or unrealistic. How can you redefine your goal to be process-driven and SMART? Can you flip your resolution of ‘working out more’ to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Bound? It could look something like this: “I will go for a 20-minute jog every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, after work, for the next eight weeks.” 

So, are you up for the challenge of reframing your resolution? If so, here some extra tips from Coach Jeanette to get you back on track: 

  1. Break your goal into smaller, bite-sized chunks. Rather than shooting for one outcome for the year (like “save money”), create process-focused goals that are completely scalable and in your control. If you are someone who eats out a lot, a process goal could be: ‘I will pack a homemade lunch three times a week for the next two months.”  It takes an average of 66 days to create a habit, so process goals should be re-evaluated regularly – every two to three months. If you’re making progress, you can add new goals too — like “I will transfer $50 to my savings account every week.” 
  2. Stack your habits. Habit-stacking is a great way to build process goals into your routine. Coach Jeanette’s personal example? As a daily tea-drinker working on building strength, she vowed to stack a quick workout on top of her caffeine fix — completing 10 push-ups every time she waits for the kettle to boil. 
  3. Tell a friend. Or even better, work with a coach. Research has shown that if you have an accountability partner who asks how your goal is going, you’re four times more likely to achieve it. Now there’s proof that accountability is effective! 

For even more goal-setting tips, tune in to this full episode. Think intention-setting, making a mood board, and even creating a bucket list of fun goals for the year. 

Ready for an accountability partner? Coach Jeanette is standing by to help you revise your existing resolutions, define process goals, or connect with an intention for the year. 

And for an extra dose of accountability, drop your personal New Year’s resolution in the comments below to share with the supportive TaskHuman community. We’re rooting for you! 

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